So Many Seeds

Monday, November 20, 2017

Finches working over a Birch Tree
Mast : the fruit of forest trees
Mast Year : much more mast than usual is produced

Many birds visited our feeders this spring / early summer.  Two feeder fill-ups per day.  Located at the front of our porch, it was a constant air show.

So when we put the feeders up a month ago -- with so many birds around -- I expected to pick up where we left off.

"Bet it will only take 5 minutes for the Blue Jays to find the seed".

Not so.   I have only made one small addition to the feeders after a month.

The birds prefer the wild seeds.  And it has been an exceptional year.  

Beech seeds
First came the Beech seeds.  The nuts started falling in late September and at one point the ground under our larger Beech were completely covered.  It didn't last long ... within a week the shells were empty

White Pine cones pile up on the forest floor
After a windy night in early October, White Pine cones were stacked on the forest floor.

Sugar Maples were loaded with keys.  As were Yellow Birch with cones.  And the Red Spruce were filled.  Not to be out done, we have a 'Mystery Tree' that was laden with fruit...first time we've seen it.

Mystery Tree laden with berries
So what's the reason for all these seeds?  Scientists think that  "large seed releases can effectively exceed seed predation and improve the chance of successful establishment."  Perhaps their survival  response to the record drought we had last year.

The birds in our area are demonstrating their predation skills.

And our feeders will be waiting for when (if) they run out of seeds.
Birds have competition for the seeds

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